Theft from a Store Not Guilty
Julieta was a woman who had had some trouble with the police when she was young. Attorney FitzGerald had assisted her in the past with these problems and she had gotten an education and was now working and managing well. One day, when she was on her lunch break, she visited a local mall, selected a few things to purchase and proceeded to the checkout lane. She presented all of the articles that she was holding in her right hand, made those purchases and then exited the store. Once she was in the main area of the mall, security officers apprehended her because she had not paid for an article that was still in her left hand. When the police arrived, Julieta explained that she had merely forgotten the article in her left hand and volunteered to purchase the article. Instead of allowing her to purchase the article, the officer performed a background check and after seeing that she had previously been arrested, he proceeded to arrest her and charge her with theft. Once attorney FitzGerald was retained to represent her, he initially attempted to explain to the prosecutor’s office that this was simply a mistake by both Julieta and the store’s cashier to process the payment for all the articles. When the prosecutor’s office offered to accept her claim of guilt with only a sentence of probation, Julieta and attorney FitzGerald decided to present their claim to a jury. Attorney FitzGerald convinced the judge that Julieta’s prior record was not relevant to the present case and should not be admitted as evidence for the jury to see. After hearing testimony from the mall security guards, the police officers and Julieta, as well as attorney FitzGerald’s arguments that Julieta’s behavior was not criminal but merely accidental, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in favor of Julieta.